In decades past, security amounted to protecting valuable on-premises items. Today, criminals also target intangible items such as the data stored in your computers and servers. It doesn’t matter that an asset is digital. If it has value, cyber criminals will go after it. They have multiple ways of finding security vulnerabilities that expose sensitive business and customer data. Two of these are:
Website security weaknesses
If your website uses a popular open source content management system (CMS), then it is important to use its most recent version. When a security hole is discovered or is exploited by hackers, the open source community responds by releasing a new CMS version, which contains a security patch that eliminates the security weakness.
Failing to keep your CMS current leaves your website vulnerable. Once the hackers have access to your website files, they could create phishing web pages on your site that mimic the login pages of your staff and/or customers. The hackers could gain the user names and passwords of everyone who try to log into these pages. From there, the hackers can access both the customer’s and the company’s sensitive data.
If your website was custom-made, your web developer should be knowledgeable in cyber security. Otherwise, your website could be vulnerable to common hacker exploits such as cross-site scripting and SQL injection. Your web developer or IT person should keep abreast of recent security developments.
Allowing System Access to Third Parties
Allowing vendors access to data they require from your business is highly efficient. However, giving them system access means they can access unauthorized data if they have malicious intent. In addition, it is pointless to maintain a strong system security if you allow access to vendors who might have weak security practices. Your vendors then become your weakest security link. They may unknowingly transmit malware into your system. It only takes one vendor with lax security to undo the benefits of your security efforts.
Some businesses set up a separate server for vendor access that is physically isolated from their systems. Vendor data is updated in the server as needed. Another solution is using a trusted third-party service with great security expertise. The business transfers vendor data to the third-party site for the vendor to retrieve.
Prevent unauthorized access to your customer’s sensitive data as well as your own by plugging up all security holes including the ones described above. Hard disk disposal can also expose sensitive data to criminals if done improperly. For more data security information and to learn about our hard drive destruction equipment, contact us today.